Thursday, 3 April 2014

New Debug Features in Reloaded Core

Work

In order to really understand what is happening out there in the real world, I have added some new debugging tools into the engine executables including the ability to switch off chunks of the engine to see which parts are causing the highest slowdowns. I have also added some extra information in there such as the graphics card name, the DirectX version and the DirectX Refresh Rate being used to control the VSYNC interval.

It's been solid tweak and test all day, and a good deal of time in the internal forum understanding exactly what is happening on the testers hardware. I have roughly half the testers up to 60 fps under certain conditions and I am working on the other half. Hardware ranges from cards that score just 450 points on the GPU up to 5000! We have yet to decide what the minimum threshold should be for GPU power. I am also starting to collect CPU power scores as well, which might play a role in my performance analysis.

I have also recommended the internal coding team download and start learning the latest NVIDIA NSIGHT debugging tool which will help us drill down into the very heart of the engine to discover those hidden gremlins. As you can see, it's all performance work today :)

49 comments:

  1. It was a good day and i can say it was a big improvement for me keep up the good work.

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  2. As long as you don't forget the low end users like myself. I have a low end laptop with an i5 and an intel hd graphics 4000 (which seems to run other game engines quite well.)

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  3. HD 4000 only achieves a GPU score of 457 (http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=intel+hd+4000&id=2).

    We have been discussing a minimum benchmark of around 700. Would you say this was unreasonable of us?

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    1. It would mean I wouldn't be able to work with the engine (Reloaded) I bought.

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    2. If you decide on this minimum requirement of 700 will I be able to get a refund (since there was no way for me to know the minimum requirements before hand)? Sorry, I really wanted to work with Reloaded but I can't buy a new laptop right now.

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    3. I wanted add that if you make that decision I will not bash the engine or your decision, I realize you need to set a threshold but since I only bought a license around 1 week or os ago that I would like to get a refund.

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    4. Don't you think maybe you should have checked the approximate requirements BEFORE spending money if you only have a really bad laptop?

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    5. aw... I'm using a GeForce GT 420 as it works fine with all games I play and with Unity. Looks like my card is no longer common place. Reloaded has worked fine in some previous betas. My only issue now seems to be that stutter situation. If getting a new video card fixes that... that's good. Because the point of Reloaded isnt for us to play it.. its for the general public and if that sheet of video cards is the general public then it only makes sense for myself to upgrade.

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    6. And I believe the benchmark score for that card is 567

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  4. At this stage we are just exploring options. One of our tezters has a GPU card scoring 400 and I have a laptop under this too so if there is demand as you express then we will add that to the deliberations. Any other blog readers around the 400 mark?

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    1. I have access to 3 machines. I have a Surface Pro and Samsung i7 Ultrabook, both with inbuilt Intel video. Lastly I have an 8 year old Dell Workstation (T3400) with a video card that I don't recall. I am a professional Developer (.NET) and Solution Architect. I don't have a steam account (my kids do), and don't need one. I do have an XBOX 360 if I want to play games. I guess the point here is that I have new machines that were not cheap, but that doesn't mean they are graphics power houses, and otherwise don't need them to be. I bought into this because I want to create historically accurate renderings of real-life battlegrounds, complete in most regards including terrain, weather, TOD and actors. If I cannot do that with my newer hardware, I may as well just give up now and start learning Unity. Just let me know that you have abandoned me and my ilk and I'll go now. Yes, I would like a refund as if this is the case, and under Australian law, I am entitled to one. On the other hand, if everyone gave up when the going got tough, we'd all still be living in caves. It's up to you, just let me know your decision.

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    2. I live in Australia also, and I don't see how you are "entitled" to a refund. Where on the website did it say it would run on old/weak computers? AFAIK you are only entitled to a refund if the product is not fit for the described or intended use or if it was incorrectly advertised, neither of which apply to Reloaded.

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    3. Hmm is it worth arguing consumer law with you? Probably not.

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    4. No, I agree: probably not. As an additional reason why you are not "entitled", you did not purchase the item from an Australian business.

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  5. I have a radeon 6470m and it only benchmarks at 313.All beta and alpha releases have played well up to this point,even with large entity filled maps.I've yet to download a game from steam that didn't work.(far cry 3,bioshock infinite,skyrim) the list goes on.I'll keep downloading the betas with fingers crossed.

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    1. Same here. I find many games work quite well. Unity works quite well, also.

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  6. sounds like you've made some good headway into performance lee m8, congrats so far :D.

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  7. I have done some extensive experiments with importing media into Reloaded and applying shaders. I have easily gotten AAA results. I have perhaps a bit above average machine, but this software is amazing. Lee and friends have done a great job. If anyone is serious about creating AAA games, it might be a good idea to stick with this project, and perhaps invest in a better machine. If Reloaded continues as predicated its going to be huge, there is nothing else like it out there.

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    1. Many of us are not in that position. Sorry.

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    2. The problem with maxing out Reloaded's graphics is you have to consider whose playing the games you make. You could have the most amazing machine in the world but your not the end user. That's like telling all your potential players to upgrade to high end cards just to play your games. It won't happen.

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  8. Hey Lee, I'm using a laptop as well. I have an Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2410M CPU @ 2.30GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.30GHz, Intel(R) HD Graphics Family (I don't know what GPU score that equals to), DirectX 11, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601).

    Being an early backer I've had every version since you've started releasing betas/alphas and so far I haven't had any major issues (besides at the very beginning) at least not compared to some of the stories I've heard. I just have to keep setting the settings to low in Reloaded.

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  9. Well a line must be drawn as things advance.but I hear lower end owners but it is the basic are you looking to play games on pc or a tinkerer. Not sure what the situ is but I am more concerned that lower end is getting better frame rates than mid. Does that mean I have to buy a worse pc to be able to play it? :)

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  10. Mines is a mobile intel 4 series express chipset family, how bad is my graphics card? I know it can run great on Unreal tournament 2004.

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    1. Terrible. UT2004 is not a high-graphics game since it was made in 2004.

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    2. Yeah, but looks great anyways. So sad I can't used this game creator. To bad the economy in my place is terrible. So outrageous is that it will get worst soon.

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    3. UT2004 really doesn't require much...

      If you open "My Computer" then right click the background and go to "Device Manager"... then go to Display Drivers... it will drop down a list of your video card.

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  11. I'm using a laptop as well (Intel i5-460M cpu with Geforce 420M GPU). It has a benchmark score of 567, but have been able to run most modern games (ie. Farcry 3) at a playable framerate. I haven't installed Reloaded yet, I'm waiting on the next beta before I try it but I am expecting I should be able to run it reasonably well.

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    1. If Reloaded ran as well as most modern games, yes. With the current beta it runs considerably slower than even BF4. Fingers crossed for the beta6, though! :D

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  12. Things seem to be going well. Nice work so far! As far as users who have better spec systems. Obviously if you run it on low settings it should perform way better than a low spec system. All that is being done at the moment, is get speed as fast as possible on the lowest spec machines. A good thing imo. Work on higher settings will be done and speed all round should be way better after this effort.

    In an ideal world any developer is going to have a high spec system. Anyone who does much coding and has made large projects will attest to the compile process being as fast as possible being a big thing. However, Reloaded is aimed at a range of users, and low end is important in all areas. The bigger range of video cards you can support with a game the better. So if someone wants to suffer the slower dev process that will ensue by using an older system, they should be able to. We need a big range of potential customers, that means low end support. Catering for high end only means the game has to be something pretty special, as in leading edge. We are not going to have that, so we certainly need a good speed on mainstream system specs.
    From the sounds of the work done so far, things are looking good for speed gains across the board by the sounds!

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  13. I think a minimum requirement of approx 700 is a good benchmark. Maybe some people would argue 600, but I think that's possibly pushing things a bit.

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    1. Unity can run very nicely on systems like mine. I don't see any reason why Reloaded can't.

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    2. It's not that it can't, it's that it doesn't. At least in beta 5. As soon as we get beta 6 we may see such improvements in speed that it begins to resemble real game engines in terms of performance.

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    3. I'm glad you don't make the decisions mate.We all can't afford outright gaming rigs.We spent $80-$100 on game making software in beta stage,the benchmarks are a recent development that we had no idea about til now!

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    4. I'm suggesting that Reloaded should run well on my old Geforce 9400GT, which is by no means a gaming rig. But seriously, why on earth did you spend that much money without first making sure you'd be able to run it? You do realise the benchmarks are not a hard-and-fast rule, don't you? It will still run on weaker systems, just not as well.

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  14. i would say and this is just my opinion but, unity makes a hell of a lot of money probably and was well funded during dev mode most likely. also you have to remember reloaded is new in its dev mode process only a few months old,and lee and rick have had their time away on business and such... I don't see why it wont be as good if not better than unity when closer to its finished stage though but time will tell.
    a lot of people are rating reloaded against bigger more funded products that cost an arm and a leg and most likely abit more ontop of that in terms of licensing costs and this does not make to much sense to me, purely on the income they do generate compared to tgc (not that I know much about tgc profit margins im just assuming its no where near as high as say unreal or unity). if it was im sure we would see more devs on the project, either way tgc lee and simon and all the handful of others are doing their upmost to get us what we want with reloaded but like all things it will take time and patience. we have seen vast improvements on performance so far in lee's blog posts and news/forums for beta 6 so fingers crossed its all coming together nicely.
    as for the benchmark im no expert but 600-700+ sounds ok my desktop has a gpu passmark of just 289, and with that I could do quite well with reloaded given the size of the terrain we have to deal with as standard, and with the terrain size changer lee has said he will put into reloaded later down the line I can imagine this will improve over all performance for those who cant or wont upgrade to something abit more powerful gpu wise.

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    1. I mostly agree with you what you are saying. So far the team seems to be doing great work. The reason why I had mentioned Unity was that good graphics and playability is possible on lower end systems. However, I don't think any reasonable person expects a small team like the one on Reloaded to whip out something of comparable quality in a few months. It takes a lot of time. I believe the Reloaded team *can* equal the quality on the same type of systems as Unity given enough time and motivation.

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    2. I was not impressed with Unity, it is below the quality of CryEngine, which I have done lots of Dev on. I already love the look of Reloaded, which, when adding the right media, shaders, and carefully crafting ambiance, ground and vegetation, can look already very realistic. Performance is just the first thing to get right. If Reloaded adds Boids, and proper water effects, among other eye candy, and more environmental control I think it could almost reach CryEngine to some degree. Not to mention what the great FPSCR community will come up with in terms of MODs!

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    3. I'm actually hoping mods dont get made anytime soon. Id rather everyone team up to add it to the core engine. The problem I had with x9 was WAY too many mods and each not sharing eachothers code for me to use them all in one executable. There seemed to almost be some kind of tension between mod developers too. I'd rather see if someone has an idea its applied to the official version.

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    4. Indeed, and with the addition of the extra programmers I believe we will begin to see that potential carried out :)

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    5. Oops, my comment was directed at the first reply here...

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  16. OK, after some research I found my GPU score is 780, so I am in the ball game still just barely.

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  17. Wow, After testing more on my own it looks like my score is closer to 680.

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  18. I added a feature friday which allows games to be set at 30fps vsync. Ideal for lower end systems who still want smooth game play. I will be adding the 400 gpu scoring systems to my tests.

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    1. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY???! If you can prove that enabling vsync does NOT in fact halve framerates, I....probably won't believe you! Vsync does NOT help it run on lower-end systems!

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  19. Can the script used for No Gravity be modified for Flying Planes and Choppers etc...
    Could the same scrip be modified yet again for Terrain Based Vehicles?
    Since the scripting is already be utilized I thought performance and memory leaks
    could be limited... I'm not a coding Guru or anything like that but I really want transportation.......razornet7@live.com.. please reply when you folks get a chance..ty

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    1. No. No vehicle physics is not implemented yet. It will be ready if and when it's ready.

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    2. oh razornet..... a conversation about transports is FAR to early... sorry.

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    3. Indeed. What you are envisioning is FAR from completion, and while it MAY happen in the future, there's no point even considering it just yet. Sorry to disappoint :(

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